Q: The Dallas Police Department is now responsible for the 911 emergency dispatch system, instead of the Dallas Fire Department. Can you tell us why the change happened, and what it means to our neighborhood?
A:The change happened because the majority of incoming 911 calls are intended for the police rather than the fire department. Under the new system, the 911 call takers will work under a police supervisor, meaning that they will be instructed on exactly what information they need to take from callers. When police have good information, they can more effectively handle emergency situations. The change makes police entirely accountable when it comes to responding to calls. For example, if a neighbor complains about a slow response time, we will have at hand the call records and the ability to look at the details of the 911 call, whereas before the change, we would have had to go through the Fire Department in order to access those records. This just started Oct. 1, so we will constantly be looking for ways to fine-tune the system. We consider this to be another improvement for our division and for the citizens in our neighborhood.